Late Hugh Perry hailed for outstanding contribution to football, cricket


Late Hugh Perry hailed for outstanding contribution to football, cricket

Monday, June 01, 2020

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Port Antonio, Portland — The late Hugh Barrington Perry, OD, JP, has been remembered as a true leader of people in all spheres of life, but more so in sports, particularly cricket and football, in his beloved parish of Portland, and the wider community of Jamaica.

Perry died peacefully last Monday in hospital after a brief illness. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday on May 5.

Honoured for contributions to sports [cricket and football] at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony last year, Perry is a former Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president between 1981 and 1983, was also a Jamaica Football Referees Association president, vice-president and treasurer of the Jamaica Cricket Association, and Portland Cricket Association president.

At the time of his passing, he was a trustee of the Jamaica Lay Magistrates Association, but had served as president of the Portland Lay Magistrates Association, and vice-president and treasurer of the Portland Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Titchfield High School and Port Antonio Hospital boards, and was a former councillor in the Manchioneal area of Portland.

“Yesterday [last Monday] was a sad day for us in local cricket. Cricket has lost a true leader, friend and administrator,” said Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Chief Executive Officer Courtney Francis.

“Let me express our sincere condolences to his family, and friends, and pray that the God of our salvation will give all the strength and courage at this time to cope with this great loss. At the time of Mr Perry's passing, he was the president of Portland Cricket Association and a life member of the Jamaica Cricket Association. He was a thoughtful and respected voice in cricket generally. We at the JCA mourns his passing...” Francis said.

Meanwhile, JFF President Michael Ricketts also paid his respect to the man who had held the top post at the organisation for two years in the early 1980s.

“The JFF wishes to extend sincere condolences to family of the former president of the Jamaica Football Association. Mr Hugh Perry would have served the federation for approximately two years as president and would certainly have made a significant mark not just for the sport of football but also cricket. In these times of severe hardship brought on by COVID-19, both socially and from a health prospective, it (his passing) is going to present a challenge as we try to show our strength for the worth and value of Mr Perry.”

Perry had an undying love for sports and a passion to see it succeed, as evidenced by the huge role he played in the establishment of Folly Oval in the parish.

He cherished this particular facility and limited its use to just a few other sporting bodies, such as the Portland Police for their meets and the Jamaica Teachers' Association for parish athletics.

Raymond Grant, president of the Portland Football Association and former general secretary of the JFF, also paid tribute to Perry's contribution to the sport in the parish.

“On behalf of the executive council and the football family of Portland, I convey condolences to the family, relatives and friends of the late Hugh Barrington Perry. He has served the parish as president of the Portland Football Association (PFA) with commitment and distinction for which he was honoured during my first year as president of the PFA. He also served as president of the Jamaica Football Federation in the early 1980s. His record of service at the leadership level will remain in the annals of the sporting fraternity. Last year we had the honour of seeing him refereeing a game at Carder Park between present and past students of the Titchfield High School,” Grant told the Jamaica Observer.

And Titchfield High School alumnus and the school's present football coach, Renault Tomlinson, remembered Perry as someone who “touched countless lives here in Portland and across Jamaica in the sports of cricket and football, but more importantly, mentoring, preaching and encouraging life skills. On behalf of the 1974 Jamaica's National football parish champions, Portland, I say, thank you, Purser Perry, you were the real 'Captain of the team'... may your soul have peaceful rest.”

Also, Horace Lewis and Victor Stewart of the Jamaica Football Referees Association (JFRA) remembered the former referee as someone who served with distinction, was dedication and reliable.

“Hugh Perry as a Portland referee was highly recognised and honoured. During his tenure he served with distinction as a reliable official who could be called upon at any time; also a credible source of information and guidance to fellow referees. In 1983 he was recognised by the JFRA for his 20 years of service, by which time he had been promoted to Grade One. His dedication to the sport allowed him to serve as president of that Parish FA. The fraternity was proud to have had one of our numbers elevated to the position of president of the JFF, taking over from Lincoln 'Happy' Sutherland in 1981. He was succeeded by Dr Winston Dawes in 1983. He had a passion for the sport and wanted it to excel at all levels even when he gave up football for his other love, cricket, he would still keep in touch with what was happening in the sport. We regret his passing and express condolences to his family and associates,” Stewart and Lewis said in a joint statement.

— Everard Owen

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